REVIEW – Almost every company out there that has a corporate office that wants to control who can get in and out of buildings issues company ID cards. These cards are often used to swipe in front of card readers to gain access to company parking garages, buildings, and in the case of where I work, get discounts in our many restaurants. Most companies also require you to wear that id card on your person while in the building so it can be quickly verified that you belong there. I have always been given a generic clear plastic holder and retractable leash to place my card into. The leash always seem to come out just far enough for me to look awkward trying to swipe the card in front of a door that was at chest level. They also were gangly enough to cause the card to whip around as I walked and I never had the badge facing forward when I needed it. When Orbitkey offered up their new ID Card Holder and Card Holder Pro, I took the opportunity to see if they really made a difference in how I carry my ID.
What is it?
Orbitkey ID Card Holders are specially designed ID / badge card holders
What’s in the box?
I was sent both the Orbitkey ID Card Holder Pro in black and ID Card Holder in white. Here is a shot of the boxes. A quick glance seems to show very little difference.
Opening the Pro box you can see there is an exterior flap showing the features and the ID is stored in a slide out box on the right. The regular card holder simply slides out of the main box and you are presented with the card holder and lanyard.
Inside both boxes, you have both the cardholder and a lanyard. The belt clip with a retractable leash was already attached to both.
- The retractable leash can extend up to 36 inches on both the pro and standard cardholders.
- The retractor cord is made of a durable Dyneema cord that has been tested to withstand everyday use. Our custom-made retractor is also more durable and silent compared to generic retractors – built to last for years to come.
- Holds up to two cards – an access card for work or public transport, and another frequently used card (smart card/business card/loyalty card). The Pro model has extra storage for smaller items such as keys or emergency cash.
- Clip the ID Card Holder or ID Card Holder Pro onto your belt/bag/skirt. Both designs work with an optional detachable lanyard, where the retractor allows you to scan cards without having to awkwardly bend down to reach the scanner. The ID Card Holder Pro also supports cards in both portrait and landscape orientations.
- Safeguard your details while in public with the innovative privacy feature by simply pulling down and flipping the card around. The ID Card Holder Pro also comes with an RFID-protected slot for two credit cards.
- Minimal and sleek design, made using high-quality materials such as premium top grain leather. Complements your style from casual to formal, day to night.
Design and features
Below is a picture of the back of the regular cardholder. There is a single slot for you to place your ID card into. They have a nice thumbhole to help you slide the card back out. It is made well with solid stitching and leather. I have personally had several of the cheap clear plastic cardholders split as I try to wrangle my card out of their slot. That won’t happen with this cardholder. You can also see the swivel mounted belt loop holder with the cable for the retractable leash just peeking out below it.
This next picture is the back of the cardholder Pro. You can see that it has an extra area in the back that will let you place two credit cards. There is also a loop on the right hand side that will let you move the belt latch/leash to carry the cardholder in a horizontal position. As mentioned in the specs, the credit card holder area is RFID protected, but does not impact the front of the cardholder where you badge would be stored.
Next, I have a picture of the bottom of the leash attachment. You can see on both cardholders there is a notch for the badge section to slot into. This means it will lock the cardholder in place and not allow it to flip around as you walk. I love this feature. Often when I leave the office for lunch I continue to wear my badge and I don’t want to advertise who I work for or what my name is. I can lock the badge facing backward and it still looks nice and no one can see even the back of the badge. You will also notice the Pro has a metal clip that lets you detach the leash and move it to the horizontal loop if you want.
I took a picture of the front of the badges. I apologize for having the leash flipped around backward, but this is how you would wear it if you did not want the badge to show. The front of the standard cardholder is again nicely stitched. The front of the Pro also has stitching on the sides but at the top is the opening where you would insert your word ID.
Here is a picture of the inside of the top front slot of the Pro cardholder. You can slip your id just behind the leather where it would not be covered by plastic and keep something like a key behind it in the plastic slot. I prefer to put mine behind the plastic as I know how rough I can be on stuff as I fidget with it.
I inserted two credit cards into the back of the Pro cardholder. The slot hole helps you to slide out your card, but it is a tight fit. It is a piece of leather covered plastic I think and I feel it would loosen up just a bit if you used it over time and thus make it easier to get your cards out.
Another nice feature is the included lanyard. A lot of women tend to wear the ID badge around their necks as they often wear dresses or clothing they cannot clip the leash onto. The lanyard has a hard plastic piece with a notch on one side. You simply slide that up into the belt clasp and it locks into place. The belt clasp is also designed to let you take a standard lanyard with a metal clip and use it with the leash. Now you don’t have to lean forward awkwardly to scan your id at a card reader.
I wore this thing around the house all day, even with I did my one-mile walk with my dog. I really like how the badge holder stays in place and does not swing around as I walk. It also stays in the facing orientation that I put it in. So when I walked the dog I flipped it around backward. Here is how my badge looks in both holders. I personally prefer the black color as it will go with any outfit I wear.
What I like
- Holds my id in place and does not let it swing around my body.
- It has an extra-long leash of 36 inches. I can leave it on my belt and still use it to get into the parking garage.
- I love that the pro version lets you carry two extra cards.
- Well-made retractable leash and premium feeling product.
What needs to be improved
- Very pricey.
I will be using the pro version of this cardholder. I love that when I go to lunch I can slip my driver’s license and credit card in the back and leave my wallet or purse at the office. My badge is no longer slapping around on my leg and faces the direction I want it to. This was a Kickstarter campaign but it is already completed. It will be available for ordering on October 5th at the Orbitkey.com website. I will be honest though, there is no way I would spend 70 dollars on a badge holder for work. Even the basic model with no lanyard made to be worn on your belt or pants is 45 dollars. That seems rather steep for what the item does. Maybe prices will go down by the time is shows up on their site.
Price:Orbitkey ID Card Holder: US$44.90 / AU$54.90 / €44.90 / £39.90
Orbitkey ID Card Holder with Lanyard: US$54.90 / AU$64.90 / €49.90 / £49.90
Orbitkey ID Card Holder Pro: US$59.90 / AU$74.90 / €59.90 / £54.90
Orbitkey ID Card Holder Pro with Lanyard: US$69.90 / AU$84.90 / €69.90 / £64.90
Where to buy: Orbitkey
Source: The sample of this product was provided by Orbitkey.